Friday, November 17, 2017

Authenticity

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be, and embracing who we are. - Casandra Brené Brown

In 2010 Ms. Brown gave a talk at TEDx Houston.  Her profile says:

"Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share."

If there is one person in the world who is authentic, it is my brother in law Bil, who is developmentally disabled.  I'm not sure he has ever even thought about who he is supposed to be.  He just is who he is.  In some ways, knowing him is a way of understanding humanity.  He doesn't try to be fake.  He doesn't hide who he is.

Some may call it "being naive".  But, with Bil, what you see is what you get.

This isn't to say that Bil never engages in manipulative behavior.  He isn't a saint.  And, really, we do people with disabilities a disservice when we portray them as long-suffering people that are just a step away from sainthood. And, I would not be authentic myself if I didn't admit that I don't always like him.  He isn't an easy person to know.

But Bil doesn't pretend to be something he is not.  

So, it hurt Bil when he got some bad news this week.  He is no longer eligible for his day program.  And why is that?

Because he has made strides in it, enough that he is no longer impaired enough for them to justify him attending it. But it hurt the program director when she had to tell us.  If things change, she told us, we would take him back in a heartbeat.  We love Bil." And Bil liked the program.

So now, the hunt is on for a different program.

Bil will be Bil, and maybe he will end up thriving in his new program. So again, Bil, who dreads change, will have to face another change in his life.  The Unfamiliar.  But a change that, we hope, ends up being for the better.

Join Sanch Vee and other bloggers at #FridayReflections.  The prompt is at the top of my post.

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